We had the good fortune of connecting with Abby Chan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Abby, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My husband, Brian, and I started EVOLVE Flagstaff five years ago. I am a Registered Dietitian with a background in strength training and yoga. Brian is a Physical Therapist with a background in Crossfit and strength training.

We created an integrative practice that combines nutrition, physical therapy and injury prevention, and training. We did this because we found that there was a deficit in the market for health professionals interacting in the fitness and wellness space with an evidence-based scope that was also integrated among professionals.

When recovering from an injury and going through physical therapy, nutrition is an integrative part of the healing process. As with nutrition, it is imperative for someone who is active either in the gym or outdoors to have a solid knowledge base of nutrition to aid in recovery, and that isn’t drenched in the false information that is rampant within the nutrition field.

We wanted to break down barriers to care and movement to provide an inclusive space for all bodies to help individuals do what they love, for life.

What should our readers know about your business?
EVOLVE Flagstaff is an integrative health practice that combines nutrition, physical therapy and injury prevention, and performance training. We are leaders in our industry because we work in a collaborative way to support our patients and clients to help them stay active and do what they love, for life. What sets us apart from other gyms or clinics is that we practice in a non-diet, weight-inclusive fashion. This is important to us because the fitness and nutrition industry is fraught with misinformation regarding ‘health’ and doesn’t actually put people’s true health (mental, physical, communal) as a priority.

We have been in business for 5 years now and it hasn’t always been easy, but what is life if it isn’t challenging? Our business has grown and changed so much since we first opened it has been amazing to see its evolution. The pandemic has been challenging as one tier of our business is gym-based and we were forced to close. But we got really creative, hosted outdoor and online classes during the initial shut down. Since coming back to the gym, have seen it grow exponentially by providing a safe, masked, and vaccine-forward approach to keep our community safe.

We are lucky to have multiple facets of our business. We have our clinical side which works 1-1 with patients with nutrition and physical therapy. We also have our entire performance training program which offers personalized programming, as well as group classes. We also have a meal prep company that provides dietitian curated meals that are made fresh weekly to help busy individuals eat healthful, balanced meals. Having a diverse business with multiple income streams has helped our business through difficult times.

We have learned that there is always a problem to solve and to never get complacent or take our success for granted.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Flagstaff is a special place. I am a local, born and raised so it obviously has a special place in my heart. Must-see places are obviously the Grand Canyon, I have been lucky enough to spend a significant amount of time in this big ditch and it never ceases to amaze me.

We also have amazing food here. My favorite restaurant in town is Shift and this is my go-to for creative and delicious food and cocktails. I also have a very spicy side and have an affinity for very spicyThaii. My go-to is Pato Thai. After traveling throughout southeast Asia, Pato has authentic and delicious food every time.

Flagstaff is also known for its night skies. We are a dark sky city meaning that we keep our lights low at night to optimize the viewing of stars. You can check them out at Lowell Observatory.

We have a vibrant arts scene in Flagstaff with art openings, theatrical events, and aerial arts. Definitely look ahead before you come to see what is happening around town!

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband and business partner Dr. Brian Kinslow. Our families and community in Flagstaff who have supported our vision and business. To Dr. Craig Smith to has been an incredible mentor for our business and practice. To my father who has given me an endless amount of guidance in business and life.

Website: www.evolveflg.com

Instagram: @evolveflg, @_abbychan_

Twitter: @abbytheRD

Image Credits
Hannah Rose Gray Jake Bacon

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